Kwanzaa celebration

Events In Our Community

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

1. Umoja (Unity) by Carmela Lowe-Gobern
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.

2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) by Jamila Gobern
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.

3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility) Cynthia Lowe
To build and maintain our community together and make our community’s problems our problems and to solve them together.

4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics) by Nailah Gobern-Lee
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.

5. Nia (Purpose) by Jamal Lee
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.

6. Kuumba (Creativity) by Camila Bryce-Laporte
To do always as much as we can to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

7. Imani (Faith) by Melva Lowe de Goodin
To believe with all our hearts in our people and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Kwanzaa is a time of learning, family and celebration

During the week of Kwanzaa, families and communities come together to share a feast, to honor the ancestors, affirm the bonds between them, and to celebrate African and African American culture.

Each day they light a candle to highlight the principle of that day and to breathe meaning into the principles with various activities, such as reciting the sayings or writings of great black thinkers and writers, reciting original poetry, African drumming, and sharing a meal of African diaspora-inspired foods.

The table is decorated with the essential symbols of Kwanzaa, such as the Kinara (Candle Holder), Mkeka (Mat), Muhindi (corn to represent the children), Mazao (fruit to represent the harvest), and Zawadi (gifts). One might also see the colors of the Pan-African flag, red (the struggle), black (the people), and green (the future), represented throughout the space and in the clothing worn by participants. These colors were first proclaimed to be the colors for all people of the African diaspora by Marcus Garvey.

On each day of Kwanzaa, light a candle for that day’s principle on your candle holder (Kinara).


Congratulation for keeping this important tradition alive. Just keep up the good work in and with the community.

Veronica Forte

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